… and it’s not the Ben and Jerry’s.
I am not a chick flick person. In the year 2010, all of the following things happened:
Gaily’s little girl died at 8 months old.
I did not give birth to the child that was due in March.
My ex-husband went out of town “on business” and didn’t have a job.
Gail’s divorce was finalized.
My ex-husband swore he changed the oil and the engine fell out of my car for no reason.
I learned that sometimes “I want a divorce” is met with the word “no.”
Gail made me watch the movie The Women.
Me: “I’m pretty sure that movie was the worst thing to happen in all of 2010.”
As much as I like my romance novels, I cannot watch that crap unfold on-screen. The lines are too over-the-top and emotion is gross. There’s a difference between imagining things and seeing them acted out. Just like I don’t want to watch porn, I don’t want to see people cry. What is wrong with the degenerates supporting these industries?!?
There are, however, a few chick flicks I love and a few I love to hate. Bridget Jones’s Diary is actually in the first category and I’m just an overly-analytical person. I haven’t read the book and don’t intend to, precisely because of how much I like the movie. So, when I checked it out from the library (because I’m too cheap to rent it if it’s free at work) I enjoyed it immensely… while simultaneously tearing apart the lead. Not having seen the movie in years, it was fun to analyze as an adult and realize exactly what was wrong with Bridget Jones. I don’t claim to be an expert on men or what men want, but I don’t enjoy being around most women either, and I found many of the reasons for that personified in Chubby Zellweger. For example…
If you don’t like, change it.
There are a lot of things Bridget Jones doesn’t like about herself and her life, so she vows to change them… for like a day and a half. The main focus of this film is that Bridget Jones is a little chubbier than she’d appreciate. Renee Zellweger put on a confusing amount of weight for the part (20-50 pounds – does Hollywood even know what weight is?). Like most women, Bridget Jones wants to lose twenty pounds. Like many women, she doesn’t actually commit to doing so. Unlike most women (I choose to believe), she constantly bitches about it and blames her size for unhappiness. If you want to lose weight, quit smoking, drink less (7 calories per gram compared to fat’s 9), then fucking do it. If you’re comfortable with who you are and that person isn’t intensely unhealthy, in which case Bridget Jones should be more concerned with the smoking and drinking anyway, then stop obsessing over something you’re not going to change. I would like to be 15 pounds lighter. I really would. I also really like red gummy worms. I’d rather have hips and red gummy worms than no hips and no red gummy worms. This is the concession I make, so I’m pretty content in my size 8 shorts, rather than bitching about the 6’s in my drawer that don’t fit anymore. Bridget Jones’s issue wasn’t her weight. It was her unwillingness to change the things that made her unhappy.
If he proposes with these, I don’t need a ring. Ell oh ellsies. Just lying. The last one was surprise-fake. Gaily knows the next ring must include a diamond the size of a cow’s eye, so pure and magnificent that the blood is still actually on it.
Be nice to people.
A few weeks ago, my precious five-year-old niece, Layla, told me she doesn’t have any friends. She’s right. She doesn’t, because she’s mean. Here’s a snippet of her conversation with my brother, Bo, from her birthday party last year.
Layla: “He hit me!!!!!”
Bo: “Why’d he hit you?”
Layla: “Because I pushed him down.”
Bo: “Why’d you push him down?”
Layla: “Because he hurt my feelings! He didn’t want to play with me!”
So, when Layla told her Aunt Belle that she had no friends…
Me: “‘Be nice to the gentlemen, Fancy, and they’ll be nice to you.'”
Layla: “I’m nice to the gentleman and the ladies!”
What? It’s not like a five-year-old realizes I’m referencing a song about prostitution. It’s sound advice. It’s also advice Bridget Jones needs to take. I am not referring to the times she embarrasses herself in these movies. There’s little to be done about the fact that no one told you the party no longer required a slutty costume or fumbling your words during a speech. There is, however, plenty to be done in regards to not insulting a group of people with whom you’ve chosen to spend your time, by calling them “fat, balding… upper middle-class twits.” You can express an opinion without telling everyone to go fuck themselves. It’s also kindest not to assume that every well-poised, attractive woman is after your boyfriend. When you’re mean to people, they and others don’t want to spend time with you. Regardless of your size or ability to embarrass yourself, if you laugh about it and move on, if you’re kind to people, they’ll enjoy being around you.
There is a time and a place.
Bridget Jones was 33 years old in the first movie. She was single and beginning to feel hopeless about that fact. Despite that, she presented herself horribly in most situations. Again, I’m not talking about the embarrassing or desperate moments, like running out into the snow without pants, because she was terrified Mark Darcy was leaving for good. I’m referring to introducing yourself to someone by telling them how hungover you are, New Year’s Day or not…. about having the gall to be upset that they think little of you when you’ve done so. I’m talking about getting smashed at the company party, rather than saving it for a night out with your friends. I’m talking about slutting up to get some attention from the opposite sex at work. Bridget Jones was 33 years old and she really should’ve known better.
Despite the fact that Bridget Jones was a little chubby, men still found her attractive. Hugh Grant slept with her, after removing her tummy tucker panties. Her new boss cast her as sex appeal. Collin Firth/Mark Darcy told her that he liked her “just as she is.” Regardless of all that positive feedback, she still blamed all of her problems on her weight. Bridget, you’re not unattractive, because you’re fat. You’re unattractive because of your whopping self-esteem issues. Bridget sleeps with her boss, pretty much just because he pays her inappropriate attention, which he’d have done to a floor lamp. This doesn’t just happen. She considers the option, acknowledges it as a bad decision, and does it anyway. On a similar note, she’s lamenting her single status at age 33, but she doesn’t actually try to meet anyone. She meets Mark Darcy, only by her mother’s introduction, bemoaning the fact that this is a regular occurrence. She sleeps with Hugh Grant because he’s present. Those are the only men she dates in the entire two or three years in which these movies take place. If you don’t want to be single, stop spending all of your time with your gay friend and gal pals and go date.
Gail is a brilliant gal and an amazing friend (currently she’s preening from reading that) and gave me a wonderful piece of advice a year ago.
“Go on a hundred first dates. Go on bad ones and good ones and meh ones. If you do that, eventually you will meet someone and it’ll click for you and it’ll click for them.”
She’s right. I’ve been on a dozen bad dates, because of that advice. It hasn’t clicked yet, but I’m trying. You know where I’m not going to meet anyone?